LAWRENCE — It was a spectacular performance for the McPherson Aqua Pups during the Missouri Valley Long Course Championships this past weekend.
The elite field included the best swimmers from Kansas as well as swimmers from the Kansas City area and the rest of Missouri.
“We had more top finishers at this one than we've had during my tenure as coach, and this was also the first time we had two swimmers in the same final event — Will Powers and Dawson VanGoethem in the 13-14 50 freestyle,” McPherson coach Kyle Banman said.
Powers, who won the 50 backstroke here two years ago, lived up to his top-seed in the 50 freestyle by turning in a 26.69 winning time. In the 100 freestyle, he beat his best time by 1.5 seconds for a 59.49, which earned his second Zone (AAA) qualifying time and a fifth-place finish. He had entered the meet as the No. 10 seed.
He had a time of 1:09.5 in the 100 backstroke, which was a personal best.
Danica Brunk, in the 10-and-under girls, took second overall in the 50 fly after entering as the No. 7 seed, dropping 2.88 seconds to 38.73. In the 50 free she dropped her time by .95 to a 35.21 and took fifth after being the No. 9 seed. In the 200 freestyle, she captured 11th place and cut nearly 14 seconds off her time to 2:57.46, which also earned here the championship time in it as well.
VanGoethem tied for fifth overall in the 50 freestyle with a time of 27.24. He took a second off his time with a 1:03.19 in the 100 freestyle and finished 19th. He also dropped 1.68 seconds in 100 breaststroke prelims, then another 1.03 in finals to finish at 1:24.43 and 10th overall, that after being the 20th-ranked swimmer coming in.
He was also part of a boys relay team that included Rhys Vanderhoof, Matthew Powers and Will Powers. They finished seventh in the 200 freestyle in 1:57.91, 2 seconds better than their entry time.
“It was an amazing weekend, and one more time, a huge congrats to our Aqua Pups at Champs,” Banman said. “It's so great to see McPherson swimming making its mark on the big stage, and best of luck to Will and Dawson at Mega-Zone in Indianapolis this coming weekend.”